Auction set for Roos Building in Forest Park

Clears way for park district to buy the property


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By Jean Lotus


The Roos Building is up for auction March 27, wrapping up the foreclosure process, which would make the property available for sale to the Park District of Forest Park.

The decrepit industrial parcel with two commercial buildings at 7329 W. Harrison St. has been on the park district's radar for several years, ever since a development group led by Aleksandr Troyanovsky went bust.

"We are totally ready to move," said park board President John Doss. "Let's keep our fingers crossed. We are in talks with Harris Bank."

The auction is a formality in the foreclosure process. Typically, the bank bids the amount owed on the foreclosed property and then, if no other bidders show up, the bank owns the building, which can then be sold.

In 2006 the building was purchased for $4.7 million. The mortgage on the property was $4.56 million, through Omni National Bank. A quartet of partners, including Troyanovsky, Tomaz Litwicki, MW Housing Partners III LP, and Designbridge Ltd. began work on the building, which was being marketed as loft condominiums. The project failed with the housing crash and the building has stood vacant for three years. Adding to the complication and delay was a bankruptcy case involving of one of the partners.

In 2010, the park district increased taxes through a referendum to purchase the property.

At the time, the park district plan was to preserve part of the building and use it for a teen program center, a preschool facility, a fitness room, multi-purpose classrooms, camp programs and a party room, along with offices and rooms to serve as headquarters for West Suburban Special Recreation Association.

The district's wish list also included an open grassy area, a gazebo and picnic area, an amphitheater for outdoor concerts and performances, a plaza with fountain and benches, extended walking paths, garden plots for community gardening, an ADA-compliant playground and a covered bicycle parking area for CTA commuters. There was also talk of demolition of part of the property for a gymnasium.

Whether all of these projects will be completed is not clear. Doss said the board may reconvene resident panels to see whether Forest Parkers still want what they wanted in 2010.

"We've had so many times when we've come close with this project. If we could announce before the election I would love it," Doss said. "It will be great for the whole town to have the park own that property — and that is the board's goal. This is the year of the Roos."

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Reader Comments

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Harry Williams from Forest Park  

Posted: March 11th, 2013 9:08 AM

@Jo good luck seeing any bball courts..They tore them down years ago...Then they got rid of the 4th fireworks, and now summerfest. You think they'll put a trouble-fly-trap in now???

Jo from forest park  

Posted: March 10th, 2013 6:42 PM

Basketball Courts! When will we see them?

Patrick from Forest Park  

Posted: March 8th, 2013 5:45 PM

If the park district does get the property, it would be a crying shame to tear down the building. I think as much of the building should be saved as possible. Given that the village has some other smaller buildings around the park area, perhaps they could be torn down and some space in the Roos building could be used by the village. That would open up more green space in other areas adjoining the park areas and most of the Roos building could stay and be used!!

dan hurt from forest park  

Posted: March 8th, 2013 5:34 PM

no more discussions needed....this isn't Oak Park Let the Park District stay on track and immediately tear that thing down before it falls on someone/something. Level the land then take the time to make the right decisions. Great job Park District staff!!

Fp resident from Forest park  

Posted: March 7th, 2013 7:55 AM

We need an indoor pool!!!!!!

Bill from Melrose Park South  

Posted: March 6th, 2013 9:33 PM

Ever been in it? It's built like the Kremlin. An industrial structure solid as a bomb shelter.

Resident from Forest park  

Posted: March 6th, 2013 8:03 PM

Is the building even worth saving any more? What is it (land etc.) even worth? How much to demolish?

Bill from Melrose Park South  

Posted: March 6th, 2013 6:29 PM

Way to hang in there, Pk. Dist. Good luck, and thumbs up to the notion of re-polling the citizenry on uses for the property.

J3llyb3an from Forest Park  

Posted: March 6th, 2013 6:07 PM


Sharon Daly from Forest Park, Illinois  

Posted: March 6th, 2013 5:35 PM

All fingers and toes crossed. Break a leg! and keep us posted :)

Erik Treese from Forest Park, Illinois  

Posted: March 6th, 2013 5:01 PM

Lets do it!

Larry Burdick from Forest Park  

Posted: March 6th, 2013 4:52 PM


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